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Rebecca Coriam was swept overboard by a wave off the coast of Mexico in 2011 while working on the Disney Wonder.

CHESTER, England, Thursday June 29, 2017 – A Bahamian investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a woman who was working on a Disney cruise ship has been harshly criticised by a British maritime expert.

Officially, Rebecca Coriam, 24, was swept overboard by a wave off the coast of Mexico in 2011 while working as a child-minder on the Disney Wonder. Her family has always suspected foul play, however, because they maintain that there were no reports of rough seas in the area at the time.

Heat Street reports that it has now come to light that two friends who worked with Coriam on the ship later visited her parents at their home near Chester, England and said she had confided in them that she was scared of being raped or sexually assaulted.

Shortly after she disappeared, an official investigation was launched in accordance with maritime law, which states that if a ship is in international waters the case is the responsibility of the nation where the vessel is registered.

The Disney Wonder was registered in the Bahamas. At Disney’s expense, one officer – Superintendent Paul Rolle from the Royal Bahamas Police Force – was flown in to investigate. Rolle arrived with no forensic equipment.

Notes sent by the UK Foreign Office to Coriam’s parents indicate that her final movements focused on her relationships with two crew members – her American girlfriend and a man from Central America.

According to Superintendent Rolle’s notes: “(American woman in relationship with Miss Coriam) left to get more beer. Came back and Rebecca and (male crew member who was in a relationship with the American woman) chatting.

“She came back and all 3 went to (male crew member’s) room. (Male crew member) had sex with both. (American woman) left the room again to get beer. Came back and Rebecca and (male crew member) had sex.”

The Bahamian detective’s notes also detail how the male crew member had a “very nonchalant attitude” when being questioned. He was “laughing and joking” and police had to “give him a warning.”

The Coriam family suspect Rebecca died because she wouldn’t agree to an open bisexual relationship with the male and female crew members. They believe their daughter was sexually assaulted and that any sex she had outside of her lesbian relationship was forced, and not consensual.

Maritime expert Bill Anderson, who is working with the family, was quoted as telling Britain’s Daily Mail: “Everything has been covered up. Rebecca was a happy-go-lucky person with plenty to live for. The only thing that was upsetting her was pressure being placed on her to have sex with somebody she didn’t want to.

“But the investigation, by one detective from the Bahamas, and the carefree way they let suspects out of their grasp, beggars belief.”

Although the Coriam family is pushing for a new inquiry into Rebecca’s death, British authorities have said that the incident is not in their jurisdiction.

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Idris Elba on the set of Yardie.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday June 29, 2017 – Acclaimed British actor Idris Elba is perhaps best known for playing Nelson Mandela in ‘Long Walk To Freedom’, but the Golden Globe winner has stepped behind the camera for his latest project, making his directorial debut with hard-hitting new film Yardie back where it all began in Jamaica.

The film is based on Victor Headley’s 1992 novel, which chronicles the misadventures of a Jamaican youth who arrives in London in the early 1980s with a ton of ambition and a kilo of cocaine.

The plot follows his quest to make his mark on the London drugs market, with filming being split between Jamaica and London over seven weeks.

Elba, who was spotted filming at an outdoor market in Kingston earlier this week, has stressed that the film will not glorify crime in any way and will essentially be a morality tale.

He has cast Aml Ameen — a British actor who has worked on both sides of the Atlantic in films such as The Maze Runner and Kidulthood — in the lead role of D, the small-time dealer who slips into London on a fake passport.

As well as directing the film, 44-year-old Elba will play Piper, a Rastafarian who eschews violence.

Elba, who has been tipped to make history as the first black James Bond, got more than he bargained for when he put out a casting call for Afro-Caribbean extras for the film in the London borough of Hackney last month.

The audition drew such a massive response that police had to be called to shut it down after just two hours.

Meanwhile, the actor’s latest role will see him play surgeon Ben Payne in The Mountain Between Us alongside Academy award-winning actress Kate Winslet (Titanic).

The film, scheduled for release later this year, follows the interaction between the surgeon and journalist Ashley Knox (Winslet) as the two survive a plane crash high in a remote, snow covered mountain range. Stranded in the icy wilderness, the injured strangers must put their lives in each other’s hands.

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Concerns about Antigua and Barbuda’s economic citizenship programme, which gives investors access to an Antiguan passport, prompted Canada to end the visa-free travel.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday June 29, 2017 – Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda travelling to the Canada will now require a visa.

On Monday, the Canadian Government formally notified the Caribbean country that it was imposing visa restrictions, which took effect yesterday.

“After carefully monitoring the integrity of Antigua and Barbuda’s travel documents, the Government of Canada has determined that Antigua and Barbuda no longer meets Canada’s criteria for a visa exemption,” a statement from the Communications Branch for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada said.

The Gaston Browne administration explained in a statement that the decision was taken in light of Canada’s prevailing concerns about the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP).

“The Canadian High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, stationed in Trinidad, advised Prime Minister Gaston Browne of this development late on Friday prior to an official announcement,” it said.

“At the time, the Canadian official said that a concern is that Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is not a residency programme.”

Prime Minister Browne has, however, defended the CIP programme, insisting there was “intense vetting”.

He acknowledged Canada’s concerns about security against the backdrop of increasing concerns about terrorism and refugees in North America and Europe, including evidence of ISIS recruits in the Caribbean, but assured that his Government would maintain a tight rein on the programme.

“Antigua and Barbuda would continue to be vigilant with its passports and border security,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that Antigua and Canada have already started working to make the system of visa applications and approvals for Antigua and Barbuda citizens as efficient and affordable as possible.

The Bahamas and Barbados are the only CARICOM states that continue to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada.

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The US State Department says the issue of human trafficking is now being better addressed in Guyana, but more still needs to be done.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday June 29, 2017 – Guyana has made significant advances in the fight against human trafficking, and its efforts have earned it a Tier 1 ranking in the US State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

Still, the country is not out of the woods just yet, with Washington advising the country to pay special attention to several areas.

In the report, which lauded the Guyana government for making several “ key achievements” over the last two years, Washington said it was satisfied with the country’s 2017-2018 national action plan for combating trafficking in persons; increasing the number of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions; and identifying and assisting more victims for the second year in a row.

Guyana also received credit for increasing its law enforcement efforts and adding three new officers to the Anti-Trafficking Unit of the Ministry of Social Protection to plan and execute the unit’s site visits and victim-extrication exercises.

The positive rating is a big deal for Georgetown which had sunk to Tier 3 – the lowest ranking – back in July 2015.

At the time, there were fears that Guyana would have been slapped with serious sanctions such as the withholding of US financial aid and the blocking of funding to Guyana at the level of international financial assistance, such as the World Bank.

Despite the turnaround US authorities are concerned that not enough attention is being paid to troubling areas outside of the capital, Georgetown.

“Although the government meets the minimum standards, it did not increase protection and services for victims outside the capital or provide adequate protection and shelter for child and male victims,” states the 2017 TIP Report.

The State Department also took issue with Guyana’s failure to keep its promise to build a shelter for males and children who have been trafficked.

“There were no adequate public or private shelters for male or child trafficking victims, despite the government’s commitment, made in early 2016, to open and partially fund a shelter for male victims,” it pointed out.

The TIP report recommends that Guyana fund specialized victim services such as those offered by non-governmental organizations, including for child victims and adult male victims.

Guyana is also being called on to vigorously investigate and prosecute sex and labour trafficking cases.

The US State Department has also advised Guyana to provide more training for law enforcement and judicial officials, and frontline responders, as it ramps up its fight against human trafficking.

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